The best Amazon Prime movies

Best Amazon Prime movies: Fantastic Mr Fox

You’ve got your popcorn, your favourite beverage, and a full evening to watch one of the best movies. But what to pick? Streaming service Amazon Prime has plenty to offer, especially in terms of modern hits and awards contenders, but sifting through can be time-consuming.

Maybe it’s time for a horror movie? Or an anime movie? Or maybe one of the recent Best Picture nominees? Not to worry, we’ve gone through all of it to find the greatest choices available. We’re all killer, no filler at The Digital Fix, and that goes double for finding the best films on any given platform for you to sit down with.

Not everything here may be to your tastes, but it’s all worth a look. Thanks to Amazon’s digital marketplace, you can buy and rent all of these choices for a one-time fee, rather than worrying about any recurring payments. Alternatively, if you’d like a free trial to check out Amazon Prime, you can sign up through our affiliate link here.

What are the best movies on Amazon Prime?

  • The Matrix
  • 1917
  • Parasite
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Sicario
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • Rebuild of Evangelion
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • Room
  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • The Big Sick
  • The Empty Man

The Matrix (1999)

Best Amazon Prime movies: the Matrix

One of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, The Matrix may be more than two decades old, but its innovative effects and choreography still feel as fresh as they did in 1999. Humans are in a prolonged war against the machines, played out via a virtual world we’re born into so artificial intelligence can harvest our bodies.

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Keanu Reeves is Neo, the ‘One’ who’ll lead the human uprising. Flanked by Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus and Carrie-Anne Moss’s Trinity, he battles Agent Smith while trying to activate his powers. Lana and Lilly Wachowski set a new standard for genre filmmaking.

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1917 (2017)

Best Amazon Prime movies: 1917

A war movie made to seem like just two incredibly long shots, 1917 is a breathtaking watch from beginning to end. Set during the back half of World War I, we follow two British soldiers, Will Schofield and Tom Blake, who must try and rendezvous some information that’ll save a platoon from their doom.

The recreation of active combat is blistering, the camera bowing and shifting between gunfire and explosions, staying right with our two lone protagonists. Sam Mendes based parts on stories of his grandfather, and it has the charm of a well-recalled heroic memory, of two soldiers just trying to do what good they can in the most desperate times.

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Parasite (2019)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s jet-black comedy emanates true chaos energy. When the son of a poor, working class family pretends to be a university student to tutor the daughter in another wealthy family, his parents and siblings invent stories to get similar jobs. Soon, both families are involved in layers of deception, and that’s just the first half.

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Balancing heavy-handed commentary on class division with raucous sequences, Parasite always has another shock up its sleeve right to the crushing ending. Bong’s feature was an awards favourite, earning the Academy Award for Best Picture in a rare case where the Academy got it absolutely right.

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Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Spider-Man 2

Well before the Marvel Cinematic Universe made sure we’ve a steady diet of superhero action at all times, Sam Raimi brought Peter Parker and his webhead alter-ego to life in mesmerising form. Bigger, scarier, more character-driven, and more downright fun than its predecessor, Spider-Man 2 captures so much about why we love these characters and worlds.

The plot is operatic, featuring the evolution of Doctor Octopus from a well-meaning mentor to a malevolent killer, and Peter Parker trying desperately to make things work with Mary-Jane Watson. Performances are committed and nuanced, and the cinematography is grandiose and savvy. In an age before franchising made our comics dreams come true, Raimi suggested all things are possible on the big screen.

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Sicario (2015)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Sicario

One of Denis Villeneuve’s darkest films, Sicario is an ultra-acidic neo-western that dives into US efforts to subdue the Mexican drug trade and finds no peace to be had. FBI agent Kate Macer is promoted to a CIA task force led by Josh Brolin’s Matt Graver that’s sent to capture a particular cartel leader, but half-truth after half-truth gradually dissolves whatever idealism she had about the mission.

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Bleak lighting keeps the mood heavy, people often standing as shadowy silhouettes against the barren landscape. Ideal conditions for Benicio Del Toro’s hard-knuckled hitman Alejandro Gillick to wind up taking the limelight.

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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Dawn of the Dead

George A Romero turns a no holds barred shopping spree into a prison when it becomes the last bastion of humanity at the end of the world. The pinnacle of zombie movies has a select few stuck inside Monroeville Mall after the dead rise from the grave and infect the cities.

Military and police can’t seem to hold back the infestation, and options are limited. In desperate times, you find and enjoy whatever comforts you can. Romero offers that even the worst needn’t be so if we stick together to find some good. A respite, a tonic, a gory feast; Dawn of the Dead suits all occasions. Theatrical is the preferred cut, but any of the three available will do the job.

Rebuild of Evangelion (2007 – 2021)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Rebuild of Evangelion

To recommend any part of Hideaki Anno’s reboot of his anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, would be doing a disservice to the whole. Like the original Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Rebuild of Evangelion is best viewed as a quadrilogy, and that’s what we’re including it as.

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Across the four films, you start with a beautiful, big-budget remake of the opening episodes of Evangelion, before transitioning into a completely different narrative that maintains thematic strands from previous incarnations. What starts as Shinji Ikari piloting an EVA against the invading Angels to please his father becomes a glorious, long-form meditation on anxiety, expectation, and learning to believe in yourself. And there are some buckwild monster designs to boot.

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Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Shaun the Sheep Movie

We’ve all been there: trying to save the boss from harm after he’s ended up lost without his memory in the local town. In this case of role-reversal, a farmer’s flock of sheep have to try and herd him back home while he wanders aimlessly thanks to a knock on the head they caused. Shaun, the daring leader of the pack, takes charge of the rescue, in what is a breathlessly hilarious madcap adventure.

Aardman crafts the feature, using the same rotund shapes and soft demeanours of forebear Wallace and Gromit. Mostly wordless, facial expressions and good timing are plenty for the punchlines to find their mark. Laugh out loud in the purest sense.

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Room (2015)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Room

If ever assurance is needed of Brie Larson’s abilities, Room is it. Lenny Abrahamson adapts Emma Donoghue’s novel, about a kidnapped mother and son whose entire life exists within a small furnished shed. Serially abused, Joy does the best she can to inspire some sense of wonder in Jacob, eventually plotting his escape into the outside world.

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Though heavy, Room holds a brightness thanks to Joy’s spirit. Her conditions are tough to comprehend, but her uplifting and nurturing of Jacob lights up the screen regardless. Remarkable.

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Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Best Amazon Prime movies: Fantastic Mr Fox

The playful live-action work of Wes Anderson has created some of the better movies of the ’90s and into the 21st century. This eccentric and vivacious stop-motion feature suggests we’ve been losing out on some even better animation. A retired thief, the titular fox gets his whole family in trouble when he decides to perform one last job.

Anderson’s signature talent for casting grants us the gift of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Owen Wilson taking on anthropomorphic roles. More furry friends await around every corner, and being able to mold every speck of dust and piece of dirt puts a clear spring into the famed director’s step.

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The Big Sick (2017)

Best Amazon Prime movies: The Big Sick

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and the highs and lows of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon’s early romance beggar belief. Co-written by the couple, now long married, what starts as a fling becomes something more serious, then they break up, and suddenly Nanjiani is meeting her family while she’s comatose in hospital.

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Cushioned by a sweet ending, director Michael Showalter finds plenty to work with in Nanjiani’s awkwardness. Whether it’s bickering with Zoe Kazan’s Gordon, or being the third wheel to Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, each scene offers some cringe-induced smile or a brief moment of “Rather you than me, mate”. Hold for the last shot.

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The Empty Man (2020)

Best Amazon Prime movies: The Empty Man

The term “Lovecraftian” is overused as a synonym for cosmic horror, and when it is deployed, it can set expectations higher than the subject delivers. The Empty Man, written and directed by David Prior, is Lovecraftian.

When a group of teenagers goes missing, retired detective James Lasombra partakes in some local gonzo investigating. Somehow, all paths lead back to some urban legend about the ‘Empty Man’, and the rest is best left discovered for yourself. Based on the graphic novel by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R Del Rey, it’s a curveball that’ll keep you guessing.

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Anthony McGlynn

Staff writer

Updated: Sep 14, 2021


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